The House of Surplus Art
(and we have some for you)


Some people would argue that a home is not a home without a cheery painting by a child stuck to the refrigerator door. Who doesn't like to ponder over the blobs of color that represent the coming of spring. Or perhaps it's a dog.

Sadly, not every home has access to the spiritual genius that is fridge art. But at Murray's House of Surplus Art, we can fill the fridge-art void in your life.

We have art, stacks of art, art that is overflowing scrapbooks and dining room tables. We can't keep up with it all, so we want to pass the joy on to you.

Our artist-in-residence specializes in free-form colorful art suitable for any fridge, office wall, or kitchen cupboard. With close to five year's experience, Emily M. has gained a house-wide reputation for her swirling, carefree style.

Her specialities include rainbows, butterflies, girls with bows in their hair, and houses with smoking chimneys.

Emily M. earned high praise among relatives for her poignant marker-and-Bic-pen masterpiece, Girl Wearing Dresses, which depicted on one side of the page a girl who was sad because she had to wear a green dress, and on the opposite side a girl who was happy because she got to wear a red dress.

Uncle Fred from Hemmingford called it "a tour-de-force of raw emotion and pre-school rage."

Besides works in realism, Murray's House of Surplus Art can provide you with vibrant finger paintings, boIdIy brushed tempera landscapes, and even cut-out construction paper and Elmer's glue montage art.

Our studio has won accolades from grandparents from across Canada for works that celebrate the simplistic childhood creative spirit while at the same time covering every square inch of the page with paint.

"Paint is my medium; it is meant to be used in full. To not use paint is to deny pigment a chance to live and sing," says five-year-old Emily M. "I like red bestest."

Each work is signed in characteristic block letters by the artist. In fact, some of her greatest works are variations on her name, taking up the entire page.

"Currently, I'm entering my lower-case alphabet phase. Numbers, too, intrigue me," she says.

Murray's House of Surplus Art also operates a training program for up-and-coming artists. Right now, we have two talented youngsters in our program. Kate M. is showing strong signs of becoming a force to be reckoned with. This three-year-old visionary is a free spirit, refusing to be hemmed in corporate-endorsed black lines in coloring books. The page, not the outline, is her only limitation. "My crayon," she says.

The latest edition to our studio training program is Mr. J. A quiet performance artist with bursts of unruly temperament, Mr. J. is one to watch -- primarily because he bites the ends off crayons.

Murray's House of Surplus Art can also farm out special projects to associated studios, thanks to an inter-neighborhood agreement and baby-sitting schedule. Dogs, dinosaurs, fish ponds, trees of all sizes and colors, flowers, and the best stick figures this side of Soho can all be provided to meet our clients' needs.

We also offer seasonal specials. Our artists are now working on this year's Santa collection, which promises to be jollier and rosier than ever. Late-season discounts are also available on this year's vast array of pumpkins, both happy and scary.

And what's the price? Here at Murray's House of Art, we try to keep our prices to a minimum by using recycled office correspondence. In fact, our fees cover little more than the cost of markers, which have to be frequently re-plenished because our unconventional talent refuse to put the caps back on. Don't delay.

Our artists aren't getting any younger! Call now. We have the art for you. Boy, do we have the art for you!

In his spare time, Ross Murray edits Quebec's Stanstead Journal, the oldest weekly newspaper in the Province. Since 1845.

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Copyright © 1996 Ross Murray /Log Cabin Chronicles/11.96